Cogism .. Capitalism become Psychotic
ToadSpawn, Be Gone! The Exorcizm of George Bush from America's Soul Chapter 8
I've been trying to grok the horror of these Present Menaces' creed of giga-greed. One always needs the fortune-cookie phrase or word. I got it: cogism. A ‘cog’ is one of a series of identical interchangeable teeth, as on the rim of a wheel or gear.
Some more quick vocabulary is in order. These words have been floating around in the political lexicon but they don't quite grasp the present extreme American situation. What's wrong? Why is it so horrible and mean? Fascism is an unholy (tho usually holier than thou) alliance among business, military, and government. A theocracy is a government ruled by or subject to religious authority – not unlike our present mob who are swept by the winds of piety. Oligarchy — the rule of a few. Plutocracy — government of the wealthy. Yes, these words have been floating around in the political lexicon but they don't quite grasp the present extreme American situation. So what's wrong? Why is it so horrible and mean?
I was gonna call the Present Phenomenon FatHogism and remark sardonically that They don't need to get fatter, They got plenty of bacon already, the FatHoggers. Ha ha.
My model of, like, a Buenopia, a society that works pretty well is Europe where they invented al fresco dining and even the bus drivers and janitors get four weeks of paid vacation a year to allow for life other than as a minion or a cog. Another basic self-evident truth ought to be that each person's life is as valuable to them as any other person's is to them. This seems even tautological, but our society does not act in that sweet and evident light.
What's happened in a peapod is that to the giga-greed corporations, those grim reapers of the harvest of our labor, to Them, we are cogs. They screw us under the fog of socially-correct, slippery platitudes; tranquilize us with cars; sports; war; malls. But we are really interchangeable; we are cogs in the profit machine. They pretend that we matter, like the Leaders pretend that the soldiers they send to slaughter matter.
They think nothing of buying up a company, putting its assets into new company-A & its liabilities into company-B which they then put into bankruptcy. Only to find out in the small print that bankrupted Company B is the company that now has all the disappeared pensions of the retired people and the promised long-term health plans of the workers, 2/3 of whom are laid off and replaced by temp workers who are offered no benefits whatever and eat it because they're desperate for a job of any kind — or unkind. In our Cogacracy, the platinum parachutists gobble up the assets and spit out the bones of the workers.
The profit motive has taken such an aggressive and gruesome and all but medieval turn that it chills the blood. Even in medieval times the hoggishly rich were wrung out of a few pence by Fear of Damnation — tithing was considered de rigueur if you wanted to squeeze through ye olde eye of the needle instead of through ye latest tax loophole.
At what point does profit go past a reasonable profit so you can live comfortably and become an filthy obscene profit? At what point does an filthy obscene profit become the moral equivalent of usury? This Midas/Miser Syndrome, this horrible acquisitiveness, CEOs gorging soullessly on their gold, has become, heaven does forbid, admired widely in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />America. Dear President Clinton said “Nowhere in the Bible does it allow us to exalt the rich over the poor.” Clearly not. Well, I prefer to also go to the undeniable bible (‘bible’ with a small ‘b’), the undeniable bible of the sky and the trees and the birds and the beasts. Naked we all stand in that holy light, without facades. The ditchdigger has no less strength and glory under the just stars than does a titan of industry. The titan of industry has hogged up on the backbreaking work of the ditchdigger. Dig your own damn ditches and see how you would wish to be treated, Cogist.
I don’t mind grotesque differences in gross accumulation of cold midas gold. It just seems just that if you’re really so damn smart Mr. FatHog, you could figure out as an obvious ethical fiat how to provide healthcare for your workers and a wage that could lead to a 10th of your comfort.
Every single elected official should be required to spend one seven-day week of each month while they are privileged to serve actually living on the minimum wage. And that same week be required to take public transportation exclusively. And no hoarding of tasty snacks to ease the week on minimum wage. No secret stash of expensive well-brewed beer. Chivas Regal would blow the budget. Compliance would be monitored in Minimum Wage Week. My friends, my dear perceptive luminous friends, how FAST – HOW FAST do you think the minimum wage would rise if the FatHogs had to live on it? How soon a gracious rise in the frequency of buses?
We need to lash our hearts to every policy decision. We may not cogize people. (As E.B. White once said, “I’d as soon simonize my grandmother.”) We may not cogize people. The quality of mercy cannot be abridged.
People are as afraid to speak out against obscene FatHog amounts of money in this country as they are to speak out against war. Well, I dare & you must dare too. Will you be able to face the lidless eyes of God who judges only that you were kind or unkind? God cannot blink and sees if you dwell in greed or in generosity. Cogism is not kind. It does not seek to uplift thy brother. That bum on the street corner? That is Jesus asking for a dime. It is always a test. It is Jesus to whom you are denying healthcare. It is Jesus to whom you are paying a meager minimum wage. It is Jesus to whom you are paying minimum wage so some FatHogger can have eight Hummers. Is there no place on the Richter Scale of outrage where the terror of the shaking wakes you up? Does it make you more secure to have more than 10 years worth of my annual wage in your bank accruing what? Interest? Spiritual mold?
My capitalist friend Bill from Canada is a super-entrepreneur up there, but he pulled his business-card-sized National Health Card out of his wallet and said, “If I am sick anywhere in Canada, I can get help. You people are crazy in America. Single payer is so obvious.” It isn’t the people who are crazy in America, it is the FatHogging Cogists. It is the Cogists who imagine that there is anything right about making obscene profits on other people’s pain. There is a difference between profit and profit at any cost.
It is not right to cut all the art and music out of schools so the mongers of fear and the mongers of giga-greed can buy more and more and more war machines. Our souls – your soul and mine – are stained by complicity in these giga-greed creeds. Our silence stains us.
Let them roll in cake, our FatHog Cogist masters, let them stuff cake down their own throats like the foie-gras geese until their livers become swollen and fat and greasy. Let them roll in cake. But should we stuff their coffins with cake? As they, a new phantom, stand beside their cake-stuffed coffin and look starkly back over their life, will they be glad for the bomb they bought to blow up a kid in Iraq? Will they hold content and deep in their heart the lives their free enterprise impoverished so their coffin could be stuffed with cake? There is no free enterprise. There is no free love. You must pay the peace of your heart if you do not do these things as right as you can. Be as harmless as you can.
It is Gandhi whose pension you stole, Mr. Free Market. The free market is costly. The free market is costly in human peace of mind. It is Martin Luther King to whom you denied healthcare, Mr. FatHog Cogist. Your giga-greed has consequences. It is not ethically neutral. God has lidless eyes. God does not blink. God does not look aside.
There are too many Scrooges in America now. Too many accumulating and accumulating Scrooges. And too few Tiny Tims finally noticed.
The thunder will astonish you. You will wake and your heart will break, your heart will break. You might have done right and you did not. If by your business or by your investments, you find yourself forgetting the faces and the tears of the people whose lives and whose labor are providing you your semi-annual dividends, you are become a Cogist. And if I were you, I would tremble at the judgment, at how long in hell it takes to pay off the debt you accrued in unkindness. A terrible toll will be exacted. The 10th circle of hell is not hot; it is relentless ice. To remind you. To remind you dreadfully of your cold cold cogist heart.
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